Saturday, April 17, 2010

Facebook: I Love You But You've Chosen Darkness

Oh, Facebook. I love you, but, to be honest, our relationship has begun to wear a wee bit thin.

Everybody I know tells me I should quit you: my best friend, my mom, the stock boy at the grocery store, the waiter at our favorite Thai restaurant. They say I need somebody, well, more like me. Someone willing to out the trash once in a while, who sends me flowers for my birthday. A pulse? Or a full set of teeth? This is not too much to ask, in their humble opinions.

We had our first date about two years ago, in April. It was a dark and stormy Friday night when I opened my account with you. By Saturday morning, I already had already received four friend requests; by Saturday evening, there were ten more. People started to come out of the woodwork. There was a request from my gym partner in first grade, now a Wiccan princess in Wisconsin. While we had precious little in common then (other than being physically unable to run a mile in under twelve minutes) it seems as if we may have even less in common now (maybe DNA?) But, still, a friend is still a friend and, as a stranger in a strange town, I was smitten, in no position to pass up a friend. So, I committed that most cardinal of sins--falling for the first guy who came along. You made me feel like a schoolgirl again, shiny and new.

Through you, I started to regain part of my past. My cousinʼs new girlfriend. A random woman I met on the bus last week. My old hair stylist Henry (who has now become Henrietta). The guy with the lazy eye who lived on my college dorm floor. Remember? The one who used to wander the halls at three oʼclock in the morning, wearing nothing but a knit afghan and rainbow-colored beanie? Not that I tried to look. Well, maybe. But only once or twice. He had the unfortunate habit of wearing the afghan on his head and the beanie around his waist. I used to think he had potential. He had kind eyes. Or maybe it just seemed that way. He was, after all, probably under other influences.

Facebook, in those days, I could have curled up next to you all day, perusing your Top News offerings, your friend suggestions, your horoscopes. In my oxytocin-induced state I allowed my dishes to pile up and dust bunnies of Wild Wild West proportions to fill my apartment. Facebook, in all honesty, the first few months were great. There was never a dull moment. No subject was so mundane, nothing too existentially profound that it could not be distributed, like fresh and fragrant manure, amongst my ʻfriendsʼ via your handy status-sharing device. Whatʼs for breakfast? What does the weather forecast look like tonight? Whatʼs the general consensus on libertarianism, from both economic and social standpoints? What is the meaning of life? You were like my own private oracle of Delphi.

But, Facebook, you do have a shadow side. I know youʼre seeing other people behind my back, despite the fact that you agreed not to. Couldnʼt you use some discretion, at least for my sake? I donʼt want to see pictures of your other girlfriends-- at salsa night, at the baseball game, huddled together on a towel at the beach sipping fruity drinks?
You and your philandering are plunging my poor unfortunate soul into a placeTibetan Buddhists refer to as hungry ghost hell. Here notable personages from the past and present hover unceasingly like psychic vampires. Other notable features of this realm include fiery red pokers inserted into the rectum at regular intervals. Iʼm totally serious here. Why, Facebook? Are your other girlfriends smarter than me? Nicer than me? Better-looking than me? More likable than me?

Really, Facebook! Our relationship is forcing me to enjoy searing colonoscopies at a rate more frequent than is desirable or advisable. I really think the end (no pun intended) is on the horizon.

Facebook, Youʼre so 1950ʼs! So status quo! Undo your shirtsleeves a little! Put down the dry martini! Get out of the office once in a while! This is the 2010s! Donʼt pigeonhole me with your narrow categories: Line of work. Educational accomplishments. Relationship status. Personal appearance. Size of social network. Humanity has operated for too long with the determinants of success so narrowly defined. Pshaw! Why do you make life into a checklist? Why the common conception that passage into adulthood is achieved at the point where one is able to ʻcheckʼ off each of these elements? Does life not intervene sometimes to uproot us from a job, a friendship, a relationship, despite our best efforts? You need some new categories. How about: Favorite book? Favorite vegetable? Favorite yoga pose?

Facebook, Iʼm taking a Facebreak. Just give me a second, though. Iʼve still gotta update my status...

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